Justin Weinberg, the editor over at The Dail Nous (pronounced /nu:s/) has committed a witticism, and it is worth quoting at some length. How do philosophers respond to being told they have to “social distance” and avoid leaving their homes?
Zeno of Elea: “Don’t worry, I can never reach anyone anyway.”
Plato: “Okay everybody, change of plans: stay inside your caves!”
Hume: “Look, just because social distancing worked before doesn’t mean it’s going to work now. And I’m in the middle of a backgammon game!”
Descartes: “I doubt anyone else is around.”
Kant: “It may be bad if we don’t social distance but that’s irrelevant, for if we imagine as a universal law of nature everyone staying six feet apart in order to survive, then we immediately see a contradiction, as humankind would have long gone extinct, and so would be unable to follow such a law.”
Berkeley: “Can we all just not give this virus another thought?!”
From “Philosophers Respond to Social Distancing” by Justin Weinberg.